The Town of Ithaca Planning Board discussed the Maplewood Apartments development for graduate students and the effort to transform a parking lot into a model green lot at its meeting Tuesday.
According to the development committee for Maplewood Apartments, there were significant changes to the plans as they developed — such as adding more green space and attempting to create a more gradual transition from the development to the surrounding single family homes.
The new plans are a step in the right direction, according to board member C.J. Randall.
“It’s good to see that this is progressing, and that it’s progressing as a result of interaction with the community,” Randall said.
According to Scott Whitman, the project’s lead planner, the overall sustainability of the site has not been looked at yet because stormwater solutions are “the number one sustainable goal right now.”
“The sustainability features of the site we are looking at so far are mostly related to stormwater, so our goal here is to maintain the same or less impervious surface,” Whitman said.
The developers indicated a larger focus on environmental sustainability in later stages of the development of the project.
“As we move into the architecture and design, we will have a presentation on more of the sustainable features,” Whitman said.
The board passed the resolution to allow the Whitman Planning and Design Committee to coordinate the project, allowing the team to move forward with this project.
The board also discussed the Cornell Peterson Parking Lot Reconstruction Project.
According to David Cutter, a University landscape architect, the project aims to convert the current impervious asphalt parking lot near the Dairy Bar to a porous pavement parking lot, which will feature sustainable stormwater management practices.
The final site plan approval and public hearing on the project were both postponed to a later date. The project will not apply for site plan approval until this fall.